EUR/USD: Awaiting US Fed Decision
The dollar continues to strengthen, and the EUR/USD pair moves south. Starting on Monday September 13 at 1.1810, it ends the five-day run at 1.1730. The movement is certainly not very strong, only 80 points. But it must be taken into account that it was 1.1908 two weeks ago, on September 03.
US retail sales statistics were much better than expected. Sales showed a 0.7% increase in August, although according to the forecast, should have decreased by 0.8%. The number of repeat applications for unemployment benefits, which was supposed to decrease by 72K, fell by 187K.
Such strong statistics raised the likelihood that the Fed will announce the curtailment of $ 120 billion of the quantitative easing (QE) program to 55% at its next meeting on September 21-22.
As a result of the dollar emission, carried out by the FRS for the last year and a half, the US national debt has grown to 130% of GDP, and the budget deficit exceeds a trillion dollars. As a result, it is not just about winding down the fiscal and credit stimulus, but also a shift to a tight fiscal policy. The Democratic Party and President Biden’s Administration have introduced a draft tax reform to the U.S. Congress, which includes a sharp increase in federal income taxes. If passed, the tax rate in such states as New York or California could exceed 60%. In addition, a three per cent wealth tax is proposed for the first time in US history.
The stock market responded to all this news with active sales. The S&P500 index fell 4,550 to 4435, the Dow Jones dropped 35517 to 34510 in two weeks. The gold price also fell 4.5%.
As for Europe, it was gripped by the real panic associated with the record rise in gas prices, which at one point reached $970 per 1,000 cubic metres. (It was 2.8 times lower a year ago). In anticipation of the autumn-winter heating season, the necessary energy reserves are only 75% (according to other estimates, only 50%). Such energy shortages could not only drive up prices but also reduce production. And this is fraught with a new recession and will definitely not benefit the common European currency.
By far the most important event of the coming week will be the Federal Reserve meeting on September 21-22. The interest rate is likely to remain unchanged at 0.25%. Therefore, first of all, investors are waiting for signals or even a concrete decision about the beginning of the QE curtailment. As we have written before, more members of the Fed’s leadership are taking a hawkish stance and supporting a reduction in the asset purchase program as early as this year. And if the hawks win at this meeting, we can expect a sharp strengthening of the dollar, and a further fall in stock indices and gold prices.
At the moment, 60% of experts vote for the rise of the US currency and the decline of the EUR/USD pair, while 30%, on the contrary, believe that nothing will happen at the Federal Reserve meeting and the pair will win back north. The remaining 10% of analysts abstain from forecasts.
The indicator readings on D1 are as follows. Among the oscillators, 75% are colored red and 25% give signals that the pair is oversold. Among the trend indicators, 100% point to the south.
Support levels are 1.1705, 1.1665, 1.1600 and 1525. Resistance levels are 1.1770, 1.1800, 1.1845, 1.1908, 1.1975, 1.2025 and 1.2100.
In addition to the Fed meeting, events in the coming week include the release of German and Eurozone PMI statistics on Thursday September 23.
GBP/USD: BoE Hawks vs Fed Hawks
The British pound, although down against the dollar, is generally holding up better than the common European currency. As expected by most analysts (60%), the GBP/USD pair went north on Monday and tested the 1.3900 high the next day, helped by good statistics from the UK labor market. This was followed by a reversal, a gradual decline and the pair’s finish at 1.3730. As a result, it failed to update the two-week low of 1.3725, although it was very keen to do so.
The GBP/USD pair hardly reacted to the above forecast inflation data in Britain (CPI rose 3.2% in August vs. 2.0% in July vs. 2.9% forecast). However, such indicators reinforce the hawks’ position at the Bank of England. So far, the forces of “hawks” and “doves” are equal there. According to Bank Governor Andrew Bailey, four members supported raising the key interest rate and four opposed at the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Analysts believe that the likely rate hike in February 2022 will support the pound and further declines in the GBP/USD pair will be limited. If that expectation grows into confidence, the UK currency could move up strongly.
We will not only have an important meeting of the US Federal Reserve this week, but also a meeting of the Bank of England on Thursday, September 23, from which investors also want to receive signals on the timing of tightening monetary policy. And here, in contrast to the EUR/USD forecast, most experts side with the pound. 65% of analysts vote for the growth of the GBP/USD pair, and 35% for its further decline. But the technical indicators’ readings are 100% in line with the previous pair.
Resistances are at levels 1.3765, 1.3810, 1.3910, then 1.3960, 1.4000 and 1.4100. The bulls aim to refresh the June 01 high at 1.4250. Supports are in zones 1.3700-1.3725, 1.3665 and 1.3600.
USD/JPY: Zero Again
The coming week can be safely called the week of the central banks. In addition to the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England meetings, investors will learn the views of the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of Japan on the economic situation in their countries on Wednesday September 22, as well as decisions on interest rates of their national currencies. With a probability close to 100%, the yen rate will remain the same, at minus 0.1%. But BOJ leaders have a lot more to think about: they need to fill the economy’s 22 trillion yen (approx. $200 billion) deficit.
However, the USD/JPY pair reacts to such figures and the news quite calmly. Unnecessary excitement is not needed in a quiet Japanese harbor.
The USD/JPY pair has been moving along the 110.00 horizon since last March, making rare attempts to get out of the 108.30-111.00 trading channel. So this time, having started the five-day week at 109.85, it finished the week almost at the same place where it started, at the level of 109.95. At the same time, the experts’ forecast can be considered to have come true: most of them (50%) sided with the bears last week and 35% took a neutral stance. Everything went exactly according to this scenario: at first the pair went down sharply, and then, having reached a strong medium-term support at 109.10, it failed to break it, turned around and went back.
The pair was supported by positive US retail sales statistics. In addition, according to a number of experts, the outflow of Japanese capital into foreign bonds did not allow it to go far down. Japanese investors hardly bought any bonds from other countries in 2021. But the sharp rise in US Treasuries yields pushed them to buy more than 1.76 billion yen worth of securities this Thursday. That has become a record since last November.
The experts’ forecast for the near future looks like this: 50% of them side with the bears once again, 35% with the bulls, and 15% have taken a neutral stance. As for the indicators on D1, there is a complete diversity among the oscillators after such week results, while the green ones have a convincing advantage for the trend indicators.
Support levels are unchanged: 109.60, 109.10, 108.70 and 108.30. The dream of the bears (it seems already unrealizable) is to retest the April low of 107.45. The nearest resistance levels are 110.15, 110.25, 110.55, 110.80, 111.00 and 111.65. The ultimate goal of the bulls is still the same: to reach the cherished height of 112.00.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Black to Slightly Greenish
El Salvador entered into force a law recognizing bitcoin as a legal means of payment on Tuesday, September 7. And the quotes of the flagship cryptocurrency fell by 18% in a matter of hours: from $52,870 to $43,205. The market is slowly trying to recover after this “black” day. At the time of writing this review, the BTC/USD pair had risen to the $47,300-48,000 zone. Of course, it’s not much, which is why the past week can only be described as “slightly greenish.”
The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has risen by only 2 points, from 46 to 48, and is in the central neutral zone. The total crypto market capitalization remained virtually unchanged, at $2.120 trillion compared to $2.100 trillion a week ago.
The news background looks “slightly greenish” too. The most interesting news is that Panama has decided to follow El Salvador’s example. A draft law on cryptocurrencies was presented to the Congress of this country. Panama currently uses the US dollar as a means of payment. If the law is passed, it will also be possible to use BTC and ETH. Unlike El Salvador, the Panamanian option does not provide for the mandatory use of cryptocurrencies, that is, citizens and companies will be able to freely decide whether they want to accept cryptocurrencies or be limited to just the dollar.
The law has not yet been passed, but analysts are already wondering how the market will react to its entry into force. Should we wait for another “black” day of the calendar, as in the case of El Salvador?
One more piece of news. Analytics software provider MicroStrategy additionally purchased 5,050 BTC at $48,099. This was announced by the head of the company Michael Saylor. As of September 12, MicroStrategy owns 114,042 BTC. A total of $3.16 billion was spent on their purchase, thus the average cost was $27,713 per coin.
Other US companies that have made similar large investments in cryptocurrency include Jack Dorsey’s Square and Elon Musk’s Tesla. Now they are set to be joined by billionaire Alan Howard’s Brevan Howard Asset Management hedge fund, which opened a dedicated BH Digital division for these purposes.
Influencers continue to predict a great future for major cryptocurrencies. So, Austrian economist Ronald-Peter Stöferle, managing partner of investment company Incrementum AG, said that “in five to ten years, bitcoin will rise to heights that we cannot currently imagine.” At the same time, the top manager noted that the next phase of bitcoin’s growth has not yet begun. According to him, the rise in price of bitcoin will occur when the asset becomes “a means of inflation protection during the ongoing large monetary experiments.”
Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood expects bitcoin to rise to $500,000 within five years. In a conversation with CNBC, Wood explained that the validity of her forecast will depend on whether companies continue to diversify their bitcoin reserves and whether institutional investors decide to place 5% of assets in it.
The head of Ark Invest also highlighted the potential of Ethereum, saying that her company will likely continue to adhere to a 60% Bitcoin and 40% Ethereum strategy.
In terms of shorter-term forecasts, crypto trading veteran Ton Vays believes that the BTC/USD pair will complete the current correction relatively soon, and then rise sharply to six-digit levels. Vays explained that the recent move in the BTC price is reminiscent of July, when the flagship cryptocurrency fell to a one-year low below $29,000 and then aggressively rose to $52,000 in less than six weeks.
According to Ton Vays, bitcoin is likely to fall short and give traders an opportunity to buy near the $40,000 level. After that, it will sharply bounce off this support and rush upward. “The $40,000 low will come either next week or may be delayed until early October, and then we will cross that area with a rise to $50,000 in mid to late October. We will be over $65,000 by early November, and probably $100,000 by the end of December,” he said.